17/03/2010

Crown Court for Aberystwyth Call

Penri James, Plaid Cymru’s parliamentary candidate for Ceredigion, is calling for the revival of plans to establish a Crown Court in Aberystwyth.

In November 2009 The Court Service Director for Wales announced that it had been decided not to proceed with plans for a new civil and criminal justice centre in Aberystwyth – which was to include a Crown Court in addition to magistrates and county court operations – on the grounds of cost. County Council officers are understood to be still pursuing the magistrates and county courts on the derelict site that has become something of an embarrassment sitting next to the new Assembly building at Parc y Llyn.

Penri said:
“The decision not to proceed with plans to establish a Crown Court at Aberystwyth means that the Government in London is undermining the important work of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Wales Spatial Plan, which has designated Aberystwyth as a town of national importance; and also comes on top of recent decisions to close local tax and social security offices.

“All this means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for people in Mid Wales to access important services. In the case of the Crown Court, people currently have to travel to Swansea or Haverfordwest in the south and to Caernarfon in the north. This is not acceptable”.

Penri is now taking the issue up with Elfyn Llwyd MP (pictured with Penri at the site), Plaid Cymru’s Justice spokesperson in Parliament, a barrister himself and a former student at Aberystwyth University.

Elfyn Llwyd commented:
“As the administrative and economic capital of Mid Wales, Aberystwyth plays a hugely important role in providing key services in areas such as health and education, and is home to the National Library of Wales and the National Assembly’s mid Wales offices. It stands to reason therefore that it should also become the centre for legal services in the area, and see the development of a Crown Court to serve the region”.

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